US To Donate 500 Million Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines to Dozens of Low Income Countries

Kimberly Redmond  |

Video source: YouTube, CBS News

The US will purchase and donate 500 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to dozens of low-income countries, as well as the African Union, the White House announced Thursday.

Two hundred million of those doses — enough to fully protect 100 million people — will be shared this year, and the balance will be donated during the first half of 2022. All doses will be distributed through COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX), the international vaccine initiative, and will go to 92 low- and lower-income countries, in addition to the African Union.

The White House called it a “historic action that will help supercharge the global fight against the pandemic.”

“This is the largest-ever purchase and donation of vaccines by a single country and a commitment by the American people to help protect people around the world from COVID-19.”

During a speech Wednesday to the US military stationed at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in Suffolk, England, President Joe Biden said, “We have to end COVID-19 not just at home — which we’re doing — but everywhere.” 

The Biden administration had previously committed to giving away 80 million vaccine doses by the end of June.

The first allotment of those doses — a 25 million tranche — will primarily go to nations in Latin America, the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia and Africa, USA Today reported. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) and foreign leaders have been urging wealthy countries, which have secured the bulk of the global vaccine supply, to increase their contributions, especially those with unused doses such as the US.  

The COVAX program has struggled to secure enough shots to meet its goal of getting 20% of the world’s population vaccinated by the end of 2021. Of the 2 billion shots administered worldwide, the vast majority have been in high-income and upper middle-income countries. 

The WHO has warned that a “two-track pandemic” could develop as wealthy countries vaccinate the bulk of their populations and poor nations are left vulnerable and exposed to the virus.

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Source: Equities News

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